Day of the Dad

With the veil at its
thinnest I reach for you and
again, I touch love.

Always a dreamer,
your eyes, forever closed, were
the color of sky.

The mountaintop where
your ashes flew, the biggest
headstone I could find.

Skeletons in the
attics of our minds. Listen.
They are still dancing.

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Roger

My whole life I thought
that I would write a book
about you

after you died.
I knew all along
that I should have been

taking notes
during the telephone calls,
which were

how we spent
a good part
of our lifetimes together,

and no less close for that.
You knew my insides,
and I knew yours –

or at least,
I knew most.
But by the end,

we knew everything.
It is impossible
to hide the soul

when the body and the mind
begin to fade.
And there are gifts there too,

in this great peeling away.
I am,
because of your love,

your truths
and your DNA.
And the only way

to say thank you now,
is to live
this extraordinary life.

There’s Always More to Tell

This is a song I wrote a little while back for my dad…and with Father’s Day just around the corner and all…

I’ve been thinking about you all morning.
The dawn is rolling by in the arms of a storm.
I wish that I could give you fair warning
but they’re just like the tides,
these thoughts of mine.

Outside the trees are all in bloom.
I’ve been hoping to hear from you soon.
We’re sitting around making music in a morning room,
and you are on my mind,
most all of the time.

It’s spring again and I’m another year older.
I’m feeling fine, and the children – they are, too.
We’re living this life just a little bit bolder.
The stars keep going round,
and I keep missing you.

We used to walk down by the seaside.
We’d find those shells, and we’d find those stones.
You’d tell me everything’s going to be alright,
and then we’d head on home.
I know you’ve head on home.

I’m pretty sure that I’ve said everything.
That doesn’t mean there’s not always more to tell.
I’d like to play this morning song right to you,
and to know you’re doing well.
There’s always more to tell.

Books

Before you died,
you told me
that these shelves

would look better filled
with books. This little house
has since become

a home,
rooms overflowing
with the footprints

of my children
and the voices
of friends. Our lives,

a stacking
of sweet and tattered
imperfections,

resemble now
these beautiful
bursting shelves,

now dusty, and topped
with your alabaster urn,
silver in the moonlight.

In Moments Before Sleep

You are getting big
and restless as you dream,
and the three of us,

we do not fit in this bed
the way we used to. Outside,
the wind blows strong

through the cottonwoods,
their time tattered branches
churning the night into black

butter.  I think of my father,
about how little time there is, about
the evening my brother and I

ate lobster and drank champagne
just moments before
we received the final call, and then

paid the fancy waiter with his credit card.
He would have loved this, our father.
A cosmic joke

and his two growing children
overlooking Santa Monica Bay
at sunset, celebrating the lives

he gave us, and the same wild sea
on which he taught us dirty shanties
and turned us into his willing crew.

There is so little time,
but between now and death,

says my friend, There is

so much nuance.  And this
I suppose, is why
I lay awake tonight, between

your two sweaty bodies, the window
thrown wide open to the precious scent
of the coming rain.

On the Tail of Joy

Grief rides
into the morning shower,
washes down

the spinning drain
within the shelter
of water,

it rises from a dusty road
and the broadcast
of a Pink Floyd concert

(years before you died,
I knew these songs
would bring the flood),

from  between the pages
of our favorite poetry
still musty

from your ocean shelves,
it sighs into news
of a first book published,

walks through this door
that swings
into the next season

where the first blonde
leaves of Aspen
dapple wet moss,

where these children are
each day
growing older.